Galaxy S8 Release Date Set As Late As April

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Samsung is betting big on an AI assistant to make its upcoming Galaxy S8 a success. However, a new report suggests that the Galaxy S8 release could be delayed by up to two months. The Korean electronics giant traditionally unveils a new Galaxy S device at the Mobile World Congress. Previously, there were rumors that the Galaxy S8 will be unveiled on February 26 at a pre-MWC event, but a new report says the unveiling could be as late as April.

Galaxy S8 to be delayed by up to two months

Sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that Samsung is adding a dedicated button for the AI assistant. The internal prototypes have the AI button on the side edge. However, sources added that the internal prototypes aren’t final and could change. Samsung needs to be extra cautious with the Galaxy S8 to avoid a Galaxy Note 7-like disaster.

The company will have plenty of time to tinker with the Galaxy S8. One of the sources told the WSJ that the unveiling could come as late as April 2017. Tweaking the hardware design to highlight the AI assistant underscores the Korean company’s plans in the voice assistant market.

What about S-Voice?

Last week, Samsung’s mobile division CTO Rhee Injong said during a briefing that the Galaxy S8 would feature AI technology from Viv Labs, a startup Samsung acquired last month. It will offer “significantly differentiated” services from those of the rivals. Viv Labs was founded by the original creators of Siri, which they sold to Apple in 2010. It will work with third-party apps as well.

Viv’s AI assistant has the capability to write its own code to handle new tasks as it keeps learning the user behavior. According to Reuters, Samsung plans to put the AI assistant not only in Galaxy S8, but also into its wearables and home appliances. In 2012, Samsung had introduced its own virtual assistant called S-Voice, but it has failed to gain much traction. S-Voice hasn’t received a major update in years.

Galaxy S8 AI to be called Bixby

A trademark filing by Samsung indicates that the new AI assistant could be called “Bixby” rather than “Viv.” Other reports claim that the Galaxy S8 will have a nearly bezelless display. Sources familiar with the matter told the Investor that the upcoming smartphone will have a display-to-body ratio of 90%. Most smartphones available in the market today have a screen-to-body ratio of 80%. Samsung plans to increase it to 99% in the long run.

The Galaxy S8 is rumored to have a 2K OLED display. The home functionality and fingerprint sensor are said to be embedded in the display itself. The smartphone is also expected to feature a new 3-coil wireless charging. The device is said to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or Exynos 8895 processor depending on the region.

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